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CNS Course 2007

-- course paradigm, organization and program chair: Hecke Schrobsdorff and J. Michael Herrmann

group photo


Boris Gutkin
Dynamics of neuronal excitability: spike generation, neuromodulation, oscillation

Reading List:
  • Daniel Durstewitz, Marian Kelc, and Onur Günt¨rkün (1999) A Neurocomputational Theory of the Dopaminergic Modulation of Working Memory Functions
  • Bard Ermentrout, Matthew Pascal, Boris Gutkin (2001) The Effects of Spike Frequency Adaptation and Negative Feedback on the Synchronization of Neural Oscillators
  • Desdemona Fricker and Richard Miles (2000) EPSP Amplification and the Precision of Spike Timing in Hippocampal Neurons
  • Aaron J. Gruber, Peter Dayan, Boris S. Gutkin, Sara A. Solla (2006) Dopamine modulation in the basal ganglia locks the gate to working memory
  • Boris S. Gutkin, G. Bard Ermentrout and Alex D. Reyes (2005) Phase-Response Curves Give the Responses of Neurons to Transient Inputs
  • Mate Lengyel, Jeehyun Kwag, Ole Paulsen & Peter Dayan (2005) Matching storage and recall: hippocampal spike timing-dependent plasticity and phase response curves

Michael Häusser
Single Cell Computation

Reading List:
  • Paul Chadderton, Troy W. Margrie & Michael Häusser (2004) Integration of quanta in cerebellar granule cells during sensory processing
  • Christof Koch and Idan Segev (2000) The role of single neurons in information processing
  • Matthew E. Larkum, J. Julius Zhu & Bert Sakmann (1999) A new cellular mechanism for coupling inputs arriving at different cortical layers
  • Michael London and Michael Häusser (2005) Dendritic Computation
  • Per Jesper Sjöström and Michael Häusser (2006) A Cooperative Switch Determines the Sign of Synaptic Plasticity in Distal Dendrites of Neocortical Pyramidal Neurons
  • Feng Zhang, Li-Ping Wang, Martin Brauner, Jana F. Liewald, Kenneth Kay, Natalie Watzke, Phillip G. Wood, Ernst Bamberg, Georg Nagel, Alexander Gottschalk & Karl Deisseroth (2007) Multimodal fast optical interrogation of neural circuitry

Markus Diesmann
Plasticity and compositionality in cortical networks

Reading List:
  • Moshe Abeles, Gaby Hayon, Daniel Lehmann (2004) Modeling Compositionality by Dynamic Binding of Synfire Chains
  • Elie Bienenstock (1995) A Model of Neocortex
  • Michael R. DeWeese and Anthony M. Zador (2006) Non-Gaussian Membrane Potential Dynamics Imply Sparse, Synchronous Activity in Auditory Cortex
  • Markus Diesmann, Marc-Oliver Gewaltig & Ad Aertsen (1999) Stable propagation of synchronous spiking in cortical neural networks
  • Carsten Mehring, Ulrich Hehl, Masayoshi Kubo, Markus Diesmann & Ad Aertsen (2003) Activity dynamics and propagation of synchronous spiking in locally connected random networks
  • Abigail Morrison, Ad Aertsen, Markus Diesmann (2007) Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity in Balanced Random Networks

Richard Hahnloser
Time representations and sensorimotor learning

Reading List:
  • Dean V. Buonomano (2005) A Learning Rule for the Emergence of Stable Dynamics and Timing in Recurrent Networks
  • Marton G. Danoczy, Richard H. R. Hahnloser (2005) Efficient estimation of hidden state dynamics from spike trains
  • Ila R. Fiete, Richard H.R. Hahnloser, Michale S. Fee and H. Sebastian Seung (2004) Temporal Sparseness of the Premotor Drive Is Important for Rapid Learning in a Neural Network Model of Birdsong
  • Richard H. R. Hahnloser, Alexay A. Kozhevnikov & Michale S. Fee (2002) An ultra-sparse code underlies the generation of neural sequences in a songbird
  • Michael I. Jordan, David E. Rumelhart (1992) Forward models: Supervised learning with a distal teacher
  • Daniel M. Wolpert, Zoubin Ghahramani, Michael I. Jordan (1995) An Internal Model for Sensorimotor Integration

David Kleinfeld
Active sensing and neuronal signaling in the vibrissa system

Reading List:
  • Kurt F. Ahrens, Herbert Levine, Harry Suhl, and David Kleinfeld (2002) Spectral mixing of rhythmic neuronal signals in sensory cortex
  • Ehsan Arabzadeh, Erik Zorzin, Mathew E. Diamond (2005) Neuronal Encoding of Texture in the Whisker Sensory Pathway
  • Manuel A. Castro-Alamancos (2004) Dynamics of sensory thalamocortical synaptic networks during information processing states
  • Miguel Maravall, Rasmus S. Petersen, Adrienne L. Fairhall, Ehsan Arabzadeh, Mathew E. Diamond (2007) Shifts in Coding Properties and Maintenance of Information Transmission during Adaptation in Barrel Cortex
  • Chunxiu Yu, Dori Derdikman, Sebastian Haidarliu, Ehud Ahissar (2006) Parallel Thalamic Pathways for Whisking and Touch Signals in the Rat


Tue. 18. Wedn. 19.
Thur. 20.
Fri. 21.
Sat. 22.
Sun 23.
presentation presentation Hahnloser
loose discussions
coffee break

or activities
(eg Documenta)
Häusser Diesmann Hahnloser

lunch break registration

13:00-14:30 Gutkin Häusser Diesmann preparation preparation
coffee break

14:45-16:15 Gutkin preparation preparation presentation presentation
16:30-18:00 preparation city tour presentation excursion
Saline Luisenhall

dinner schedule

every evening, there are tables reserved in the following restaurants:
Tuesday 19:00
Wednesday 18:30 (after city tour)
Paulaner, Schnitzeltag, Hefetag
Thursday 19:00
Friday 19:00
Mr. Jones

Restaurant Locations via Google Maps

18-23 September 2007 in Göttingen

As in the last years there will be a fall course on computational neuroscience from 18th to 23rd of September hosted by the BCCN Göttingen. In 2007, this fall course takes place right before the inauguration symposium as a tutorial for BCCN students as well as an open fall course for external students.


The course is intended to provide graduate students and young researchers from all parts of neuroscience with working knowledge of theoretical and computational methods in neuroscience and to acquaint them with recent developments in this field.

The speakers provide an overview on important aspects and recent developments in their fields of expertise by means of three-hour tutorials. In addition to the tutorials, participants will gather in small groups and study one out of a number of recent research papers that are related to the respective tutorial. The "self-study" will be supervised by the speakers such that (based on the introduction given in the tutorials) a profound insight in the main ideas can be obtained. The results of the self-study will be shared with other participants and discussed with them and the speakers during the presentations.

The particular form of the course has proven successful in previous courses (1999 and 2001 at Bochum, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 at Göttingen). It combines lecturing with an active interaction with the main ideas of the topical fields in a way which has proven efficient given the time constraints of the course.


One of the main objectives of the course will be to enable participants from any field of neuroscience to study recent research papers on their own. Each day of the course is devoted to a different topic. Part of the teaching will be in form of a tutorial, but there shall be room for the activities of the participants. In previous years each day has been divided into three phases:

  1. Before noon there will be a tutorial consisting of two lectures (2 times 90 min) where (as a rule) the first one should introduce the topic of research and the second one more specifically should provide background information for the study of a number of recent key papers in the field.

  2. Each paper is then assigned to a group consisting of about four participants. The papers shall be scanned already before the course (the papers can be downloaded some weeks before the course). In the early afternoon, participants discuss the paper and prepare a presentation to the members of the other groups. Speakers will be available during the self-study phase to answer questions related to the papers.

  3. Later in the afternoon there are slots of 20 min presentations of these papers by one or more representatives of each group and discussions together with the tutorial speakers and the members of other groups.

In the evening there will be opportunities to participate in various social activities.

Course Registration

Registration fee is 100 Euro.

Travel Grants

Due to the graceful support of the Otto Bock Company, we can offer a limited number of travel grants.
In order to apply for a grant, we ask for a detailed motivation as well as a reference note from your supervisor.

Travel Grants will comprise your travel expenses, accommodation and 50 euros for meals.

Former Fall Courses on Computational Neuroscience in Göttingen

2006 2005 2004 2003